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Superman

Supermancomics

Name
Kal-El (Kryptonian name), Clark Joseph Kent (Earth name)
First Appearance
Action Comics #1 (June 1938)
Creator
Jerry Siegel, Joe Shuster
Affiliations
Abilities
Super strength, super speed, flight, super breathe, arctic breathe, super stamina, heat vision, x-ray vision, super hearing, longevity, invulnerability, microscopic vision, telescopic vision
Played by


Superman is a comic book superhero, originally created by writer Jerry Siegel and artist Joe Shuster, and published by DC Comics. Created in 1932, and rejected by a number of publishers, the character first appeared in Action Comics #1 (June 1938).

With a premise that taps into adolescent fantasy, Superman is born Kal-El on the alien planet Krypton, before being rocketed to Earth as an infant by his scientist father moments before the planet's destruction. Adopted and raised by a Kansas farmer and his wife, the child is raised as "Clark Kent", and imbued with a strong moral compass. Upon reaching maturity the character develops superhuman abilities, resolving to use these for the benefit of humanity. With the success of his adventures, Superman helped to create the superhero genre and establish its primacy within the American comic book.

Whilst referred to less flatteringly as "the big blue Boy Scout" by some of his fellow superheroes, Superman is hailed as "The Man of Steel," "The Man of Tomorrow," and "The Last Son of Krypton," by the general public within the comics. As Clark Kent, Superman lives among humans as a "mild-mannered reporter" for the Metropolis newspaper The Daily Planet (The Daily Star in the early stories). Here he works alongside reporter Lois Lane, with whom he is romantically linked. This relationship has been consummated by marriage on numerous occasions across varying media, and the union is now firmly established within the current mainstream comics continuity.

The character's cast, powers and trappings have slowly expanded throughout the years. Superman's backstory was altered to allow for adventures as Superboy, and other survivors of Krypton were discovered, including Supergirl and Krypto the Superdog. In addition, Superman has been licensed and adapted into a variety of media, from radio to television and film. The motion picture Superman Returns was released in 2006, with a performance at the international box office which exceeded expectations. The character has been revamped and updated, most recently in 1986. John Byrne recreated the character, reducing Superman's powers and erasing several characters from the canon in a move which attracted media attention. Press coverage was again garnered in the 1990s with The Death of Superman, a storyline which saw the character briefly killed.

Superman has also held fascination for scholars, with cultural theorists, commentators and critics alike exploring the character's impact and role in America and the wider world. Umberto Eco discussed the mythic qualities of the character in the early 1960s, and Larry Niven has pondered the implications of a sexual relationship the character might enjoy with Lois Lane. The character's ownership has often been the subject of dispute, with Siegel and Shuster twice suing for the return of legal ownership. The copyright is again currently in dispute, with changes in copyright law allowing Siegel's wife and daughter to claim a share of the copyright, a move DC parent company Warner Bros. disputes.

Played byEdit

Christopher ReeveEdit

Dean CainEdit

Tom WellingEdit

Brandon RouthEdit

External LinksEdit

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